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Focus on the Process, Not the Outcomes

This content was originally featured in the January 3rd, 2024 newsletter found here: INBOX INSIGHTS, JANUARY 3, 2024: PROCESS OVER OUTCOME, DATA AS AN AI ADVANTAGE

Ah, the new year. A fresh start for everyone, whether you asked for it or not. Metrics roll over, expectations are reset, and resolutions are made.

We often pressure ourselves to not only set big goals but also to achieve them. Dreaming big and being ambitious are admirable, but it’s equally important to inject some reality into our aspirations.

Focus on the process, not just the outcomes.

It’s easy to throw out numbers and claim them as your goals. Lose 20 pounds. Visit 20 countries. Adopt 20 dogs. However, these are merely numbers; they represent your desired outcomes. While it’s crucial to understand your direction and aspirations, it’s more important to know how you’ll achieve them. So, focus on the process, not just the outcomes.

Take, for example, the goal of losing 20 pounds. That’s a a good start, but it’s vital to build a plan around achieving this goal. What if you don’t reach it? You might feel defeated and less inclined to try again. That’s why focusing on the process is key.

You might wonder, “Isn’t this just a KPI map?” Not exactly. A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) map breaks down the metrics that indicate whether you’re on track to meet your goal. While a KPI map keeps you aligned with your goals, it often lacks context on how to improve those metrics. Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds by eating 1500 calories a day and working out four times a week. These metrics would be part of your KPI map (note: this is just an example, as I’m not a fitness expert).

However, focusing solely on numbers doesn’t set you up for success. You still need to focus on the process. Start with the KPI of eating 1500 calories a day. What does that entail for you? How will you ensure adequate protein and nutrient intake? What adjustments are needed for days with more intense workouts? Establishing a detailed process will guide you toward your goal. Similarly, for working out four times a week, consider the type of exercise, necessary equipment, duration, and scheduling.

Now, think about your team and company. What ambitious goals have been set for 2024? Likely, they revolve around revenue. But how will you achieve this? Put the revenue target aside for a moment and concentrate on the process.

You might say, “We need to increase revenue by acquiring three new clients and upselling five existing ones.” Excellent. Now, break it down into repeatable processes. What steps are needed to create awareness, attract prospects, and qualify them? Focusing on each step of your process will simplify reaching your goals.

Remember, it’s only January. You have time to thoughtfully set up processes that will aid in achieving your goals. By documenting these processes and measuring progress, you can make necessary adjustments along the way.

What’s next? Set your goals, translate them into KPIs, and then prioritize the process.

Are you setting goals for 2024? I’d love to hear about them. Respond to this email or join the conversation in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers (

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